Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon in Orlando
Many offenses, such as drug trafficking offenses, are highly technical crimes which have lots of moving parts. These cases are difficult for prosecutors to successfully present to a jury, but they are also difficult to defend. Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is another example. Depending on the type of possession, a lengthy mandatory minimum sentence could be involved.
In complex cases like these, a criminal possession of a firearm attorney must pay close attention to the details. That’s the approach we take at Sercombe Law. Every case we take includes a thorough examination of all the facts, both favorable and unfavorable. As a result, our professional team is extremely well-prepared when we walk into a hearing, trial, or pretrial negotiation session. Since we do our homework, we always do better on the tests.
Actual and Constructive Possession
In standard weapons possession cases, prosecutors must establish knowledge and accessibility, as well as proximity, to prove possession in court. But if a convicted felon allegedly possesses a firearm, these cases are in a different category, because these individuals have fewer rights in court.
To bypass these additional requirements, prosecutors must establish actual possession in felon firearm possession matters. Actual possession means the gun was:
- In the defendant’s hand,
- In a container which was in the defendant’s hand, or
- Within the defendant’s reach and in the defendant’s complete control.
If prosecutors establish actual possession, there is a mandatory three-year prison sentence pursuant to Florida’s 10-20 Life Law, regardless of any other punishments meted out in the case.
Constructive possession cases often involve a gun in a home or a motor vehicle where the defendant happens to be at the time. In these cases, prosecutors must establish:
- Proximity (the gun is within a few steps of the defendant),
- Control, and
Significantly, this knowledge must be specific. If the defendant knows that something illegal is under the bed, that’s not sufficient to prove felon in possession of a firearm.
Orlando Weapons Violation Lawyers and Defenses to Felony Firearm Possession
Many times, a judge reinstates a convicted felon’s right to own a gun. Sometimes, officers see such notes on their computers, but they either do not understand them or ignore them.
There may be procedural defenses as well. For example, most possession cases involve either search warrants or search warrant exceptions. If the warrant was defective or the claimed exception does not apply, the charges will not hold up in court.
Illegal firearms charges carry stiff possible penalties. For a free consultation with a weapons violation lawyer in Orlando, contact Sercombe Law. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we begin working for you.
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